Where can I locate a good contractor for home remodeling?

coodyAugust 5, 2014

I do not have any reference to locate a good pro for home remodeling project. Is it good to start search from Better Business Bureau website or you know any reliable website to locate a good contractor? Thank you.

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malabacat_gw

I didn't even think to look at BBB when I began looking for an architect. That's a good idea. I went to a variety of sources to get names to follow up on, which may help you with finding a contractor. I looked on Yelp, Houzz, Sunset Magazine, Architectural Digest and spoke with friends who'd had any remodeling done in the past decade. That gave me a good list of names to narrow down my search. If you look on Yelp, it helps to put in cities near your own along with your own, as it will widen the pool of options from which to consider further. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:05PM
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millworkman

BBB is a pay for play, the more you pay the better your rating. Stay away! Best way is word of mouth, ask around thru friends who they used, look for jobsites and speak to the contractors themselves. Then check references. Any of the internet referral's slash rating system's are crap in my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:58PM
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snoonyb

" millworkman "

In the inimitable words of the pastor of "the church of whats happening now", AAAAMEN.

However, when I need a specialty trade;http://www.thebluebook.com/

They are free, they self police and you get one chance to resolve an issue, and if not, you are out.

Also lumber yards, other than the big box.

Get out of your chair.

You'd be surprised what can be gleaned from a face-to-face representation.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:54PM
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millworkman

I agree wholeheartedly snoonby about bluebook and lumberyards. Commercial storefronts and curtain-wall now (and yes I use bluebook) but spent 20 plus years in the lumber and millwork business.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:45PM
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HandyMac

You cannot beat recommendations/accolades from satisfied customers. The longer they have been satisfied, the better quality the work.

I had a one man remodel business. Never advertised, other than business cards. Almost all my new customers came from referrals from old customers.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Trebruchet

Go to www.homeadvisor. You can read contractor reviews and you have to be a contractor's customer to write one, so unless his brother-in-law has hired him, I doubt he wrote the reviews.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Mags438

If you're in a metro area, look around in your neighborhood. There's bound to be contract work being done. Get business cards from the contractors, then ask the neighbor for their thoughts. Google the business for reviews.

We had a contractor doing pointing work a couple doors down from us. We used them, and if the contractor being all over the immediate neighborhood is any indication, others used them too.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:44AM
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jellytoast

"Any of the internet referral's slash rating system's are crap in my opinion."

In mine, too.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 3:53PM
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lucillle

I found a wonderful one on Angie's List.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:50PM
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snoonyb

While there may be some reputable contractors on angies list.

YOU pay a membership fee, and those trades listed pay a fee.

IE. it's pay for play and the more you pay, the better you play, plain and simple.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 8:47PM
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Trebruchet

Let's put the myth of false contractor reviews to bed once and for all shall we?

I had a dispute with a homeadvisor customer. I refunded half his money and had him sign in writing that he was completely satisfied.

That didn't matter to him or homeadvisor. They still allowed his poor review, even though it violated their policies about disallowing customer reviews that are obviously false.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:03PM
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chibimimi

Ask the real estate agent who helped you buy your home, or another that you know. They are often aware of the better contractors in the area. Then check out the references.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:08PM
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lucillle

"While there may be some reputable contractors on angies list.
YOU pay a membership fee, and those trades listed pay a fee.
IE. it's pay for play and the more you pay, the better you play, plain and simple."

While advertising is allowed on AL,and some businesses advertise (and some don't) I was unaware that a reviewed business has to pay merely because they have been reviewed, and I'm not sure that is true.
I chose this particular contractor based on their reviews (and of course also based on personal interaction and how they addressed my questions).

The OP asked where a good contractor could be located, and I was saying how I found mine.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 2:10AM
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snoonyb

Lucille

Contractors pay a fee to advertise.

The members pay a fee to availe themselves of those advertisements and to read the reviews.

Contractors are not charged a fee because they receive either a good or bad review.

There have been several threads in these forums, in which, a contractor, who had never done any work for a complaining client, repeatedly received bad reviews.

After numerous efforts to resolve the issue with angies list, the investigation revealed that the actual author of the complaints was a staffer, promoting an associates business.

THEBLUEBOOK is free to the customer and they self police.

Ethics and integrity.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:50AM
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lucillle

One can find an unadvertised contractor who has paid no fees by looking through the reviews.
You seem to have strong views about Angie's List, but there is no question that quite a few times it has led me to honest businesses that have done a good job for me at a fair price.

It worked for me, and I feel it is worth mentioning to the OP.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:38AM
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lucillle

Snoonyb,
Could you please cite the threads where you saw the investigation you mentioned?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:14PM
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jellytoast

I've seen a few posters on GW complain about services they've received while mentioning that "they received good reviews on Angie's list." To each his own in choosing how to research a contractor, but I prefer to accept the opinions of people that I know and trust, and whose homes I can personally see, rather than random people on the internet who may not have the same standards and aesthetic as I do. What passes as satisfactory for some may be unsatisfactory to me, and vice versa.

"That didn't matter to him or homeadvisor. They still allowed his poor review, even though it violated their policies about disallowing customer reviews that are obviously false."

If homeadvisor doesn't follow their own policies, why should we trust them? If they are allowing obviously false bad reviews, who's to say false good reviews aren't getting in as well? They say they do background checks on their contractors, but if you read the fine print, those checks are only run in the state in which they are currently doing business. It gives customers a false sense of security.

Most of these internet "review" places are money-making businesses. Either the customer pays to look at the reviews, or contractors pay to make their services available on the site. I don't think it's particularly wise to think that some internet review site is going to do your due diligence for you.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:11PM
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lucillle

" I don't think it's particularly wise to think that some internet review site is going to do your due diligence for you"

I totally agree with this. I have found some good businesses on Angie's List, but I always followed up with my own questions (and looking around) prior to actually hiring them.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:22PM
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jellytoast

" I have found some good businesses on Angie's List, but I always followed up with my own questions (and looking around) prior to actually hiring them."

That's likely why you've had success. Even simply googling a contractor's name that you're considering might bring up some useful information. Using the internet for leads is one thing, but you have to do some research and verification on your own.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 2:53PM
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snoonyb

Lucille

It would probably be fruitless for me to search the archives only to guess which msg. from which forum had been deleted.

My particular beef is with ANY, pay-for-play, referral site.

My response to some of my customers who have the courtesy to ask if they could refer me to angies list, is, please resist that temptation, with your dyeing breath.

So many people are stuck in their chairs and conduct their lives on line.

So I ask, when you walk into any of these places that you do business, does anyone you?

They do me.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:03PM
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lucillle

"It would probably be fruitless for me to search the archives"

Because you made it up and thought no one would call you on it?
Your story really does not sound like anything Angie's List would do, or needs to do.

This post was edited by lucille on Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 19:24

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:19PM
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jellytoast

"After numerous efforts to resolve the issue with angies list, the investigation revealed that the actual author of the complaints was a staffer, promoting an associates business."

I didn't get the impression from snoonyb's post that this was something Angie's List condoned, just something that happened because an employee was not following company protocol. It's not out of the realm of possibility that an employee could do something like this. I recall seeing lots of posts on GW that I would be hard-pressed to locate later. I think the chances are quite slim that a referral or review site is perfectly reliable and staffed only by perfectly honest people.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:37PM
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houston70sranch

Just wanted to chime in with my Angie's List experiences.

I found our laminate countertop guy there. He did not advertise, had glowing reviews and was fantastic. I wrote a glowing review for him myself after his excellent job.

I found our house inspector there. I am not sure if they advertised but they had glowing reviews and had I not been so lazy, I would have written him one myself.

I found our roof repair guy there. He had mostly glowing reviews and was horrible. When I was ready to write up the poor job he did, I realized that he would not only have the opportunity to respond to what I said (that's fair) but also he would know exactly where I live should he desire to exact some revenge. I chose not to write it, because I felt it was unsafe to piss off someone who knows so much about my house and my typical schedule.

That was also when I quit using Angie's list because I realized that if I felt that way, so did many other people probably.

If we undertake this whole house renovation, I'm sure I'll use Angie's list at some time as a possible jumping off point but I think it is shady as I don't know what and there are serious potential problems.

Checking out Bue Book right now.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:11AM
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snoonyb

Lucille

Please feel free to live your supposition.

It's a common occurance for legitimate busnisess to reinforce an bolster their legitimacy over time. It's part of evolution.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:06PM
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razamatazzy

If you have started looking at cabinet shops, they may have referrals.
Or the local lumber yard/building supply store (not big box stores).
Also, builders who are part of house tours, like parade of homes. Just because they are showing a high end home, does not mean that is all they do.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:27PM
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snookums2

"It's a common occurance for legitimate busnisess to reinforce an bolster their legitimacy over time. It's part of evolution."

How do people know this? How do you know the reviews, so many as you say, are fake?

Why would blue book be any better?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:55PM
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snoonyb

"How do people know this?"

There are none so blind, as those who choose not to see.

"How do you know the reviews, so many as you say, are fake?"

Got a back-quote?

"Why would blue book be any better?"

If you need any further explanation for this;"They are free, they self police and you get one chance to resolve an issue, and if not, you are out.," so say.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 5:19PM
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lucillle

An interesting discussion. I believe Angie's List should see it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 5:20PM
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millworkman

Nothing I am sure they are not aware of, that's the way they do business....

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 7:18PM
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snoonyb

Probably already forwarded.

With an invoice.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:35PM
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plumberry

all I can say is I had the worst contractor of all time but couldn't post a negative review anywhere or file any complaints -- you really need to get a reference from a trusted friend, otherwise, you don't know what you are getting. if I sound jaded, it's because I am.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 4:44PM
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paredown

My experience is that there is usually an 'A' list group of trades in an area, who have overlapped on jobs--and who know and respect each other. What you need to do is find one of them, and ask them if they know a good GC or what ever you are looking for.

We started with a referral from the real estate agent who sold us the house--her plumber was a treasure. He in turn recommended an electrician (also a treasure) who told us he was too expensive for us, but still gave us a hour of his time to discuss scope of work. The electrician we finally used came from another referral; HVAC guys also know and like both he and the original plumber.

A market is a group of people who know each other--and the good guys know who is doing good work.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2014 at 11:09PM
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energy_rater_la

"Because you made it up and thought no one would call you on it? "

Really?

for those of us who have been here for years, we don't keep track of every thread, comment and/or link we have posted.
mostly because they are too numerous, but also because
we have real world experience to back us up and not just
some internet link. if one searches long enough one can find
opposing links to every topic, but it takes time that can
be better used for productive things, and not just to prove a
point.

as an independent contractor, I don't advertise at all.
all work comes from referrals from previous clients.
I work hard to please all of my clients, and average 3
referrals from each one. some numerous referrals over
the years.

btw folks, this topic is about beat to death, but
it won't die. want to talk about something else for
a while?
anything but powered attic ventilators & recessed lights!
both other topics that have been done to death.

y'all have a good day, I'm going to go work in my yard
after lunch.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2014 at 12:27PM
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